The Israeli Presidential Conference .. some excerpts

Close family members have been at this weeks Israeli Presidential Conference in Jerusalem  – finding many of the sessions stimulating and high calibre … Niall Ferguson,  Tony Blair, Rabbi Sacks, James Wolfensohn, Stanley Fischer to name a few .. and at one “standing room only” session, standing next to Sharansky. Here is the conference website and a few Internet excerpts, in particular from the Israel Matsav blogsite (thanks).  Here is a link to a summary by Ed Morrissey of the talk by Niall Ferguson on the likely and disturbing outcomes of the Arab Spring.  Here is an excerpt “What happens in countries undergoing revolution, such as in the current Arab nations and in those historical examples?  Capital flight almost always follows, which creates economic collapse, higher prices, and unemployment.  The misery and anger that results plays into the hands of radicals who usually take the opportunity to find scapegoats for the collapse, from within as well as without.  They seize power and begin to prosecute their hatreds in order to bolster their popularity — and if that dynamic follows in the Arab nations, that’s not going to be good news for Israel.  Therefore, Ferguson warns, the window for Israel to resolve its conflicts is closing faster than people imagine.  As radicals take advantage of political and economic chaos, they will attempt to legitimize themselves with the masses by attacking Israel.  The masses themselves are not necessarily progressive and Western-leaning anyway, Ferguson said, regardless of whether they Facebook and Twitter, a mistake that Ferguson says too many people are making in their optimism. “Annihilationist philosophies didn’t die with national socialism,” he warned.  “It was resurrected in what we now call radical Islamism.”  The so-called Arab Spring may be unleashing the forces behind that philosophy, and is at least as likely as a sudden wave of Western-style democratization.”

Also, here is a youtube link to interviews with many of the speakers, including the PA’s Jibril Rajoub who was at the conference.

A more downbeat summary here

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